The Goodbye

October 29, 2010
By , north tonawanda, NY
"I'm sorry, but only one person at a time in the room. Hes not doing so well and i fear he wouldn't be able to handle everyone at once."
"Okay Doctor." The mother said. "Well who would like to go first?"
"Mom, i think you should go. hes your husband." Karen told he mother.
She walked in the room slowly, blotting away the tears. The others sat outside the room waiting. Debbie, the oldest, sat hands folded by herself. The middle aged brothers Patrick and Stanley ignored the situation and wrestled in the hall. Karen attended to the youngest child, Michelle. Karen who was well aware of what was going on, comforted Michelle through her confusion using a smile to hold back the tears. Seconds started feeling like years before their mother returned from the room. Out she came with her cheeks all puffed and red, eyes glistening and constant sniffing.
"Mom, you okay? How's Dad doing?" Debbie who never cared about anyone except herself, asked her mother.
"Hes okay, and im okay too." She hardly chocked out through tears. "Debbie, if you want to take Michelle in, you two can go together."
"Why do i have to take her?" Debbie whined.
"Because i told you to!" She snapped.
Debbie grabbed Michelle angrily and dragged her feet into the room. Karen went to sit by her mother to feed her eyes more tissues. Stanley and Patrick's game turned into a brawl. Karen, looking at her mother, went to reach out and give her a hug when...
"Boys knock it off! If you don't stop it I'll...take you to the car!" She hesitantly said.
"Well fine then. We don't care!" Patrick spat out.
"Ugh, Fine! Lets go!" She ordered them. "Karen you'll be okay here right?" she said while restraining her sons.
"Yeah, I'll be fine, an I'll send Debbie and Michelle out to you when they are done." Karen responded.
"Oh, thank you so much." she sighed.
Stanley and Patrick were escorted out to the car by their mother. Karen waited patiently. As all the silence started to sink in, she took a deep breath and closed her eyes. Her two sisters staggered out as she fought back the tears.
"Well that was quick. You guys okay?" Karen asked
"Well I am. Michelle the baby, had a break down." Debbie complained.
" know...never mind! Go to the car, Mom's there." She stated rolling her eyes.
They left. Karen took another deep breath and slowly pushed open the door. Her brave smile slowly dissipated as she looked around the room. Seeing all the tubes and machines hooked up to her father, made her eyes begin to water.
"Dad?" She said softly.
"Hey. I was afraid you weren't going to make it in. I figured you would have killed one of your siblings." He weakly joked.
"Well, i came close." She giggled.
"There's that beautiful smile i love. You were always the strong one, always putting on a smile to make people happy." He said softly as he reached for her hands.
"Dad, you're going to make it to my game, right?" She said with tear drops falling.
"Of course. I wouldn't miss it for the world." He smiled and clutched her hands.
Karen knew the truth, but the love and caring behind his words was all she needed. His confidence in her, and always being there, was better than an "i love you", she thought.
"Kiddo, you ad me both know your brothers will give your mom grief, and Debbie, well if she lifts a finger I'd be amazed. What I'm trying to say is..."
"While i am gone away here, please take care of your mom and Michelle. They both need you. And...beat up the other three for me." He told her.
"Sure, I'll take care of your light work. Bit only if you promise to get better." She explained.
"See laughter is the best medicine. You're already making me feel better." He declared.
"I do what i can." She said smiling.
As she finished her sentence, she noticed how his skin went from a gentle flush to a ghost white. He became cold and eyes drifted away.
"Daddy? You're going to make it, right?" Her voice cracked.
"Of course...just keep that smile...and...don't forget to laugh in life." He struggled to say.
"I will Dad. And Dad..."
Before she could finish her thought, the doctor walked in.
"I'm sorry Miss, but I'm going to have to ask you to leave." He said sternly.
As she walked away, another doctor and a nurse sped in. Karen slowly looked over her shoulder and blew her father a kiss. She whispered softly "I love you."

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